11 Jun House Committee Passes “Patent Trolls” Bill
On June 11, 2015, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Innovation Act (H.R. 9) by a vote of 24 to 8. This bill was introduced to address the ever-increasing problem of abusive patent litigation. Many in the footwear industry know patent abusers as “patent trolls” and have been impacted by their schemes.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has already passed similar legislation earlier this year, and now we await both bills going to the floor for votes in both chambers. Based on the bipartisan work on these bills, we feel like there is a good chance this can become law by the end of this Congress.
FDRA President Matt Priest stated: “We applaud Chairman Goodlatte and members of the House Judiciary Committee for passing the Innovation Act with a strong, bipartisan vote. More and more footwear companies are being impacted by patent trolls, which can cost companies millions in legal fees that would otherwise be spent on job creation and enhancing the quality of our products for American consumers. Similar legislation passed the House in 2013 but failed to gain traction in the Senate. It is our hope that the full House of Representatives will vote on the Innovation Act in the coming weeks. FDRA will continue to work to explain to Member of Congress the importance of this legislation, which will provide much-needed relief to the industry.”
Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte commented: “At its core, abusive patent litigation is a drag on our economy and stifles innovation. It is a problem that impacts businesses and industries of all types and the jobs of the people who work for them, from the tech sector to the hospitality industry and even grocery stores. Everyone from independent inventors, to start-ups, to mid-and large-sized businesses face this constant threat. The tens of billions of dollars squandered on settlements and litigation expenses associated with abusive patent suits represent truly wasted capital – capital that could have been used to create new jobs, fund research and development, and create new innovations and technologies.